Alumni Spotlight: Melea Blanch

What originally inspired you to intern in Florence with World Internships?

Melea: I am about half Italian and I have always wanted to go to Italy, not only because that is where most of my family still lives, but because I have a love for the architecture, the culture, and the art. Italy is also full of fashion and my internship was in fashion photography.

Views of the Italian countryside

Describe your day to day activities as an intern in Florence, Italy.

Melea: For the first few weeks I only attended Italian classes, Monday - Friday from 9-12:30 with a 30 minute break in the middle. Our teacher was great and I learned so much from her. Then I started my internship. I would walk to work every morning Monday - Friday at 9:45 and earlier if we had a photo shoot that day.

At first I only worked mornings but then as I got to know the studio more I worked afternoons as well. I assisted on photo shoots and learned a lot about lighting. Since my Italian wasn't that great and my mentors didn't speak too much English I learned a lot through observing and asking simple questions. They were always willing to answer and help me understand why the used a certain light or positioned it the way they did. I helped with the set up of the set and with some computer work.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Melea: I have taken a previous internship and many photo classes before so I knew a lot about camera work. What I needed was more experience with studio lighting and that is exactly what I got. I also learned to pay close attention to detail. If it can be fixed or avoided when shooting there is less work when it comes to Photoshop.

Being in Italy in general provided me with photos taken on my own for my portfolio. I was given the weekends off and took time to travel to other cities. Florence was the perfect place to live. Rome and Venice are huge and Pisa is small. Siena is a bit confusing and Viareggio is a small costal town. All were amazing to visit. I gained experience and internship credits for my schooling. The overall experience was great and I would do it again in a heartbeat.